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Judge Profile:

Senior Judge Elizabeth A. Hayden
(retired 2009)

Stearns County


Appointed by Governor Rudy Perpich in 1986. Elected in 1988, 1994, 2000, and 2006. Retired Dec. 11, 2009.

Appointed and assigned to serve statewide as Senior Judge from July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2015.


1978- Oklahoma City University School of Law; J.D. Degree

1977- Oxford University, Oxford, England; Oklahoma City University School of Law, Summer Program

1968- College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, Minnesota; B.A. Degree Social Work

1964- Graduated Le Sueur Public High School


1985 - 1996- Adjunct Faculty; St. Cloud State University

Teaching a course entitled "Women in the Criminal Justice System" for the Departments of Criminal Justice and Women’s Studies.

1981 - 1986- Assistant County Attorney; Stearns County Attorney's Office

Initially involved in prosecution of misdemeanor cases and drafting of felony Complaints.  Promoted to Chief of Civil/Human Services Division; primarily responsible for cases in the areas of juvenile protection, juvenile delinquency, child support enforcement, probate commitments, administrative appeals involving personnel matters and other agency decisions; civil legal opinions for county departments.  Also represented the County in cases involving ordinance violations, delinquent tax problems, ditches and other civil matters.

1980- Private Practice; St. Paul, MN

Established a law office in the Commerce Building, St. Paul, Minnesota, practicing in the areas of probate law, misdemeanor defense work and personal injury cases.

1977 - 1978- Legal Intern, Office of the Attorney General, State of Oklahoma

Duties included legal research for attorneys in the civil law division, and assisting local County Attorney's Office in processing misdemeanor cases. 

1976- Consultant; Sheriffs Youth Programs of Minnesota

Reviewed administrative structure and treatment programs of the Sheriffs Boy's Ranches for management and program problems; evaluated staff qualifications and employee performance to advise the Board of Directors and Management in reorganization planning.

1973 - 1975- Residential Licensing Consultant; Department of Human Services, State of Minnesota

Provided consultation to providers of residential treatment programs who were seeking licensure.  Reviewed residential treatment programs serving the mentally retarded, mentally ill, physically handicapped, chemically dependent, and emotionally disturbed children to determine whether the care provided met standards required for licensure.  Provided recommendations to the Commissioner as to approval or denial of a license.  Worked with the Office of the Attorney General in processing appeals of licensing decisions.

1969 - 1973- Social Worker; Stearns County Social Services Department

Duties included working with the office of the County Attorney preparing cases involving commitments for mental illness and chemical dependency.  Provided counseling to families dealing with problems of mental illness and chemical dependency.  Responsible for coordinating services provided by numerous county and state agencies.

1969 - 1972- Adjunct Faculty; College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, Minnesota

Served as Director of Community Volunteer Services and faculty advisor to students.  Initiated and directed a program to involve students in volunteer work in community agencies in the St. Cloud area.

1968 - 1969- Social Worker; Willmar State Hospital

Worked with adult mentally ill patients and their families from the Stearns and Benton County areas.  Acted as liaison between the hospital and approximately 15 to 20 community agencies in developing plans for patients' return to the community.

Legal Professional Affiliations:

Chair, Minnesota Supreme Court Advisory Committee on General Rules of Practice – Present

President, Minnesota District Judges Association 1994-1995

            Chair, Articles & Bylaws Committee of MDJA 1987-1994, 2002-Present

            Member, Civil JIG Committee of MDJA 1992-1994

            Member, Criminal JIG Committee of MDJA 1998-1999

            Member, Criminal Bench Book Committee of MDJA 1998-2000

            Member, Board of Directors, MDJA 2002-Present

Board of Directors, Stearns/Benton County Bar Association 1992-2007

Member, Minnesota State Bar Association 1990-Present

Member, National Association of Women Judges 1987-2005

Member, Minnesota Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Judicial Education

Curriculum Chair, Minnesota Judicial College

Member, Minnesota Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Educational Programs for   Court Personnel

Past Member, State of Minnesota Department of Public Safety Narcotics Enforcement   Coordinating Committee

Past Member, Minnesota Women Lawyers, St. Cloud Chapter

Byrne Advisory Board

Civic and Community Activities:

Member, Board of Trustees - College of St. Benedict 1998-2004

Chair, Red Mass Committee of the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University

National Exchange Club, St. Cloud Chapter; Past President and Member of Board of Directors

School/Judiciary liaison to Sauk Rapids Middle School 1992-1997